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Aboriginal Custom Adoption

Aboriginal Custom Adoption refers to a privately arranged adoption between two families within the Aboriginal community. Custom adoption is an open process that involves many people in a child’s life, including birth parents, extended family, the Aboriginal community and those with a significant relationship to the child. The goal of Aboriginal Custom Adoption is to ensure Aboriginal children are raised in Aboriginal families so that they retain their language and cultural identities.

For over 40 years, Aboriginal Custom Adoptions have been recognized in Canadian courts and under statutes as a way of forming legal family relationships. Custom adoptions do not require the same administrative procedures as statutory adoptions and are recognized as legal so long as the adoption meets the criteria set forth in the province or territory. In most cases, there are no lawyers or social workers involved in these adoptions.

In an Aboriginal Custom adoption, families often have an ‘adoption ceremony’ and the adoption is considered legal when a child is physically transferred to the adoptive parents. In the Northwest Territories, however, a custom adoption is legal if the Adoption Commissioner says the adoption was done in the traditional way, following aboriginal custom. In Nunavut, however, the Department of Health and Social Services oversees custom adoptions.

Kinship Care or Relative Placement

Kinship Care is a type of adoption that places children with care by relatives or extended family. Also called relative placement. The arrangement may be informal; a formal foster care placement; or a pre-adoption placement. The court may award relatives custody, or guardianship. In a formal foster care placement, the relative may receive the same benefits and supports as other foster care parents. See also custom care. Kinship care or ‘relative placement’ is an arrangement where children are placed in the care of their relatives or extended family. This type of care may be informal, a formal foster care placement or a pre-adoption placement. The court awards the relatives custody or ‘guardianship’ of the child.

Step-Parent Adoption

This type of adoption is when you remarry and you or your spouse want to adopt each other’s children that were the result of another relationship. The best course of action is to consult with a family lawyer.


 



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